From Jazz (Weather Report), to Rock (Frank Zappa and the Mothers), to Pop (Genesis/Phil Collins) to Gospel (Ron Kenoly), Chester Cortez Thompson has surpassed the boundaries of musical genres. Chester's performance and recording experiences have influenced over three decades of music and musicians. Whether he is playing drum kit or percussion, Chester's masterful subtleties and unyielding time create the firm musical foundation for any musical genre. Every time Chester plays he gives 110% - there is no such thing as practice. To watch him play is magical; to listen to him play is surreal.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Chester has spent extended periods of time in various musical centers including Los Angeles, CA and London. After a heavy touring schedule in the 1970s, 80s and 1990s, Chester and his family now call Nashville, TN home.
Keeping extremely busy with live performances, studio recordings, clinics and writing, Chester's Nashville residence has also afforded him more time to invest in students. On faculty at Belmont University since 1998, Chester teaches applied drum lessons and directs a jazz ensemble. Known for his exceptional teaching style and zeal for music, Chester is a favorite among students and fellow colleagues.
In 2008, Thompson was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32nd Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).
In 2011, Thompson formed his jazz group, the Chester Thompson Trio, with pianist Joe Davidian and bassist Mike Rinne. They had initially played together as part of the rhythm section of the Nashville Trombone Festival which was followed by a weekly residency at the Commodore Lounge for over a year.
Thompson has endorsed Ludwig Drums (1970-March, 1977), Pearl Drums (April, 1977-July 1987), Sonor Drums (1990-1999) and Paiste cymbals (1970-1990); he has endorsed DW Drums since 2000 and Sabian cymbals since 1990. He uses Remo drumheads, Meinl Percussion, Gibraltar racks and has his own Regaltip Chester Thompson signature drumstick.